COAR Kids Watch 2014 World Cup

On Saturday, June 28th, the COAR kids had a wonderful treat.  All of our kids boarded a bus and headed off to a shopping mall about 20 minutes from Zaragoza in order to watch Brazil take on Chile in the 2014 World Cup.

For those who have not been to Zaragoza, the main street offers 1 small grocery store, a bank, a Catholic Church, a Mormon Church, several tiny storefronts selling plastic shoes from China and other cheap imports and 1 restaurant.  That is it.  If you need anything more glamorous than an Oscar Romero T-Shirt or a new Claro phone card, you must hop on a public bus and travel UP the “Highway to the Port of La Libertad”.

Your trip will take probably 20 minutes as it meanders around hills and peaks that start below you at the Port of La Libertad and reach up to the heights of the suburbs on the outskirts of San Salvador.  As in most developing countries, the higher up the mountain you travel, the more you can see private gated communities fleeing the noise, dirt, traffic and crime of the bustling cities or the extreme poverty of rural Latin America.

But, we wanted to offer our kids a chance to see a great soccer game – their number 1 sport – in a public locale surrounded by hundreds of their fellow Salvadorans.  So, our bus load of eager and excited children left COAR on route to the nearest shopping mall.  There, the mall had set up projection screens where each day, shoppers could sit and watch a match and hopefully, patronize the food court or restaurants.

Our kids happily joined the crowd to watch a thrilling game where in the end Brazil edged Chile 3 to 2.  While soccer is a way of life in Latin America, for our kids at COAR, this was a truly unique opportunity.  Afterall, the average day’s pay in El Salvador is around $10.  For most people, after food, rent, transportation, education, and healthcare needs, there simply isnt any money left.  2 bus tickets and a McDonalds meal for 2 would wipe out the average day’s pay. But, on this extra special night, our COAR kids were able to spend the evening with their friends cheering, celebrating and enjoying life!